Days Like This
The door slammed shut and I groaned. Guess I better start cooking if I want to go to college, but it’s really, ironic, I got a big scholarship and I am paying mostly what’s left, but whatever. Becky just says I’m just too “nice” and a “pushover.” But, aren’t you supposed to be nice to your mother?
Flipping through the stack of recipes, I began to gather ingredients. It looks like the theme of food tonight was Italian, so it didn’t look too hard. Last time, it was Japanese and I had a hard time following with all the foreign words for everyday food like cheese. My mother is lucky I am a good cook or she would be in deep ****. But I guess, I had to learn because she was never home to feed me. Dad was always home before her, not to mention an amazing cook.
Maybe, its’ in my genes to be a good cook. Just too bad it is not what I want to do with my life. I started with the lasagnas because I had to make the pasta from scratch along with the basically everything. God forbid, we couldn’t just order pizza or use the store-bought sauce or pasta, we had to make everything from scratch.
We, meaning being me. Apparently, it had to do with living with up to our “Italian” roots. Which, I will like to mention, we are only a quarter Italian. Grabbing a silver bowl, I threw in flour and the wheat among other things and whisk it together. Once it’s mixed, I pulled out the pasta maker and pressed the mixture into the cutout of lasagna.
I flipped the switch and the machine grumbled to life and began printing pasta noodles. Eating the first noodle, I nod in approval and began hanging the noodles on the racks. They have to dry first before I can use them. I started the sauce, cutting and tossing tomatoes, adding spices and then moved to the meatballs, rolling them into perfect spheres and placing them in another pot of sauce.
The noodles dry, becoming hard pieces of blond hair and I place them in a boiling pot. I pulled out five glass blue trays and sprayed them down with Pan, and went back to the sauce and meatballs which I transferred to the yellow crockpot that sat there patiently waiting to keep warm my prize specimen of meatballs. Stirred the pasta, made the bread and stuck in the oven, assembled the lasagna’s, two types of meat, two cheese, one vegetable, crammed them in the oven. Boiled more pasta, another batch of sauce and bread, and began the calamari appetizer and the three types of desserts.
Three hours went by, with me dancing and juggling the different courses of my “mom’s” homemade meal. Three hours and I still hadn’t done a lick of homework, set up the ping-pong table that my brother asked me to set up while he stole a piece of bread. Three hours and I hadn’t showered. I smelled like a goat.
“What’s taking you so long?” my brother whined, laying on the couch.
“I had to make everything from scratch Jeremey.” I panted, turning the black knob on the oven to keep warm.
“Well, you better hurry. My friends will be here in an hour,” he sighed, switching the channel to a college basketball.
I almost choked on air, panic inflating my chest. An hour? That’s hardly enough time. ****, ****, ****, and ****.
“I thought the party wasn’t until nine?” I squeaked, throwing the dirt pudding and vanilla cream puffs in the fridge to cool.
“Yeah but my friends are coming at seven,” he answered, flipping the channel again.
“Well, I’m not sure, everything will be ready by then,”
I slid the bread next to the lasagna and began to clean the kitchen of the sauce and flour splatters.
“Well, it better be or I’ll make sure.”
“Make sure what?” I cut him off, stopping and placing my hands on my hips.
He glared at me but said nothing.
“That’s what I thought,” I snapped.
He had no reason to complain. He had it made. Only having to worry about academics, lacrosse, parties, and girls. Not in that order but, that’s it. And he knew it too since he didn’t say anything. Jeremy was not as much of an idiot as I thought.
With the kitchen cleaned, drinks strategically placed according to my mom’s diagram, (yes, she has a diagram. She is OCD), and the ping pong table up, after closing on my pointer finger twice, I went to shower.
Days like this just I wished for the past. I’m not going to lie, life in the past, wasn’t perfect either but it was better than this. School was a struggle. I remember because on this argument I heard on the stairs:
“What do you think’s wrong with her?” my mother asked, picking up my report card. I had failed reading that quarter and the teacher sent home a note, probably wanting to meet with them.
“I don’t think, what’s wrong with her, is the right question, Rachael. There is nothing wrong with Lia,” my father said, placing a hand on her shoulder.
She shook it off and scowled.
“Really, then why did she fail reading? It’s reading for crying out loud!” she shouted, slamming her fist on the kitchen table.
“Shhhh…honey. You’ll wake the kids,” my father whispered, taking hold of her fists.
Mother began to sob and father pulled her into his chest.
“What are we going to do?” she choked, clutching my dad’s red Phillies’ shirt.
“We’ll talk to her teacher first. Then get her the help she needs. She’s obviously struggling,” dad replied, rubbing circles on her back.
“What if she is purposely failing? What do we do then?” mom protested, looking up at my dad.
I grimaced on the stairs, tears pooling in my eyes and struggled not to speak out. I hated to pain my parents, I really did (and still do). But, that my mom thought I would do it purposely, hurt. Why would I purposely try to hurt them? The question didn’t make sense in my little girl mind.
“I definitely know that’s not the case Rach. You know Lia, she would never do that.” Dad reassured, giving my mom the slither of the smile that light up his brown eyes. The smile my mom fell in love with.
My mom sighed, offering a small smile in return.
“Your right Remi. That’s not like Lia. I’m sorry.”
“There’s no need to apologize Rach. It’s ok to be upset. Now, let’s head up to bed, it’s getting late.” my dad said and I quickly scampered back to my room, obviously not wanting to be caught.
And that was the biggest argument they had for a while. But I got the help I needed, it turned out I had a slow- processing disorder, which made it hard to read as fast and comprehend the readings like the other kids. The teacher recommended sending me to a specials teacher who works at the school, in order to give me the extra time. It ended up being fine.
To be honest, everything seemed to be fine. Sure, my parents had fights over “why didn’t someone do the wash” or about being “unappreciated” but they were always resolved. I thought they really loved each other too. Every time my mom came home from work my dad would go and place a chaste kiss on her lips and take her stuff. Mom used to make blueberry pancakes every Sunday and mowed the lawn for him.
They went out occasionally on a Friday night to go to a fancy restaurant and left us home with a nice babysitter named Corinne. Every Valentine’s Day, my dad gave my mom a bouquet of daisies mixed with light yellow roses and my mom always got him a box of Mounds bars. They seemed to be as in love as you can be with dealing with two children.